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201  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Another shoe drops? on: July 11, 2017, 12:15:25 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/10/us/politics/donald-trump-jr-russia-email-candidacy.html?emc=edit_na_20170710&nl=breaking-news&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0

OTOH there is the matter of Team Hillary openly colluding with the Ukrainian govt. , , ,
202  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VDH: History's complexity should discourage liberal cheap retroactive morality on: July 10, 2017, 11:59:40 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422104/historys-complexity-should-discourage-liberals-cheap-retroactive-morality-victor
203  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: July 10, 2017, 11:56:26 PM
Outstanding article.

New variables to consider:

a) Iran establishing a land bridge to the Mediterranean-- and implications for a war with Israel;
b) The Russian-Iranian Axis from the Indian Ocean to the Baltic Sea;
c) Iran going nuke, perhaps in conjunction with the Norks;
d) the Russian presence in and of itself;
e) the potential collapse of the House of Saud
f) the likelihood of a second and possibly much greater flood of refugees should the excrement hit the fan
204  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Andrew McCarthy: War Powers, Congress, and the Commander in Chief on: July 10, 2017, 03:16:34 PM
I have a lot of respect for this author.

There are other threads where this could fit as well, but I put it here:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449318/war-powers-congress-commander-in-chief-constitution-iraq-libya-syria-aumf-federalist-society
205  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Cruz-Lee Plan on: July 10, 2017, 12:57:13 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449296/ted-cruz-mike-lee-obamacare-repeal-amendment-sound-policy
206  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: July 10, 2017, 12:50:02 PM
Kelly Ann Conway had a real hard time with Chris Cuomo this morning defending Donald Jr's meeting with the Russian lawyer his changing versions of it.
207  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: July 10, 2017, 12:45:08 PM
Too bad Obama-Hillary undid President Bush's foresight with the ABM deals with Poland and Czech Republic , , , Good thing President Trump is looking to rectify that.
208  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Middle East: War, Peace, and SNAFU, TARFU, and FUBAR on: July 10, 2017, 12:43:23 PM
You're wicked , , , ly funny.
209  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The pathology of transgenderism on: July 10, 2017, 12:42:39 PM
http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/06/15145/
210  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / POTB: Rocky past of Vote Panel Member on: July 09, 2017, 09:06:02 PM
http://enewspaper.latimes.com/desktop/latimes/default.aspx?pubid=50435180-e58e-48b5-8e0c-236bf740270e
211  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tucker on Mattis and Transgender policy on: July 09, 2017, 08:51:05 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwIU3YkrLM4&feature=youtu.be&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-brief-WLXHKAPFXH37&utm_content=daily-brief-WLXHKAPFXH37&utm_source=daily-brief&utm_term=Tucker+Carlson+suggests+James+Mattis+should+resign
212  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Serious Read: Nork's new ICBM and nuclear strategy on: July 09, 2017, 08:43:19 PM
https://warontherocks.com/2017/07/north-koreas-icbm-a-new-missile-and-a-new-era/
213  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Comey's memos contained classified info on: July 09, 2017, 08:34:25 PM
second post

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/341225-comeys-private-memos-on-trump-conversations-contained-classified?rnd=1499645596
214  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Donald Jr. and Manafort met with Russians promising dirt on Hillary on: July 09, 2017, 08:31:18 PM


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/09/us/politics/trump-russia-kushner-manafort.html?emc=edit_na_20170709&nl=breaking-news&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0
215  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Nuke blast survival gear on: July 09, 2017, 08:27:07 PM
http://www.businessinsider.com/nuke-blast-survival-gear-2017-7
216  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar, Cyber Crime, and American Freedom on: July 09, 2017, 08:23:17 PM
Definitely leaves me ill at ease, though I suppose it could be a place for cyber-spooks to play their games , , ,
217  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Captured DAESH-ISIS Photo albums on: July 09, 2017, 08:21:31 PM
Fascinating

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-sh/is_fighters
218  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Bowe Bergdahl gets bad news on: July 09, 2017, 07:52:29 PM

http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2017/07/08/military-judge-gives-bowe-bergdahl-lot-bad-news/
219  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Russian conspiracy, Comey, related matters on: July 09, 2017, 02:32:49 PM
Intriguing find-- and glad to have it with which to counter certain friends on FB  grin
220  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Joint cyber security unit with Russia? on: July 09, 2017, 02:26:08 PM


http://thehill.com/homenews/sunday-talk-shows/341192-trump-talk-of-cyber-security-unit-with-russia-earns-mixed-reviews?rnd=1499618846
221  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A friend writes , , , on: July 09, 2017, 11:27:17 AM
"From time to time, I have been importing (purchasing online) rye bread from Finland, since I love its sour taste.  This time when I ordered bread, prior to the bread being shipped from Finland, FedEx said FDA wants my email, which I gave to them. Soon after I received the bread.and ate most of it. Now weeks later, I get a letter from FDA saying that they are investigating the case (import of 6 pcs of bread) and there could be penalties. The bread cost about 10 Euro, shipping was about 30 $ and now I am being threatened with fines. If they had concerns, why did they not stop me early in the process ?, the bread is not home made, its made by a large commercial company which ships worldwide and to the USA for years. I truly wish Trump will put a stop to these 3 letter organizations. Obviously they have too much time on their hands."
222  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: July 09, 2017, 11:07:24 AM
I have commented on the probabilities of Nork cross-breeding with the Iranians, but in the last couple of days I have seen a number of reports that the Nork mobile missile launcher and other missile related equipment (including parts of missiles in question) were CHINESE.

Would love to have some citations for this.

This does make considerable sense-- my initial read being that the Chinese are being this as a way of forcing us to acquiesce in its conquest of the SCS , , , AND break our alliance with South Korea.
223  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / American Communist Party was tool of USSR on: July 09, 2017, 10:56:44 AM
https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/07/08/surprise-american-communist-party-was-tool-of-ussr/
224  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / What do we think of this? on: July 08, 2017, 04:35:48 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/us/politics/trump-russia-kushner-manafort.html?emc=edit_ta_20170708&nl=top-stories&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0
225  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / President Trump in Poland on: July 08, 2017, 12:55:14 PM
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/what-trump-gave-poland?mbid=nl_170708_Daily&CNDID=50142053&spMailingID=11432571&spUserID=MjAxODUyNTc2OTUwS0&spJobID=1200684804&spReportId=MTIwMDY4NDgwNAS2
226  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / New Yorker on the Trump-Putin meeting on: July 08, 2017, 12:50:00 PM
http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/the-trump-putin-bromance-is-back-on?mbid=nl_170708_Daily&CNDID=50142053&spMailingID=11432571&spUserID=MjAxODUyNTc2OTUwS0&spJobID=1200684804&spReportId=MTIwMDY4NDgwNAS2

I must confess I share the assessment here on the election issue.

The Russian trolling begins , , ,

http://thehill.com/policy/international/341094-putin-thinks-trump-believed-denial-russia-meddled-in-election?rnd=1499526521
227  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Transgender men in women's showers on: July 08, 2017, 12:38:00 PM
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/07/07/transgender-men-womens-showers-must-get-dignity-respect-u-s-army/
228  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / More Tiger Woods on: July 08, 2017, 12:27:18 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfTY5xUFaJs
229  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NRO: Trump's Defense of Western Civilization on: July 08, 2017, 12:19:15 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/g-file/449313/trump-western-civilization-defense-left-response?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=170707_G-File&utm_term=GFile
230  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Lawfare in CA on: July 07, 2017, 08:07:55 PM
http://www.dailywire.com/news/18343/california-democratic-party-sues-conservative-peter-van-voorhis?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=051717-news&utm_campaign=dwtwitter#
231  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WaPo: Pence Commission to store voter data in White House on: July 07, 2017, 04:52:39 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/trump-voter-commission-discloses-names-of-members-plan-to-store-data-at-white-house/2017/07/06/74e454ae-625d-11e7-84a1-a26b75ad39fe_story.html?utm_term=.03fe557d3608&wpisrc=nl_headlines&wpmm=1

Are there legit privacy issues here?
232  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Trump Transition/Administration on: July 07, 2017, 04:40:07 PM
I saw that-- the mind boggles at the clueless sense of entitlement and lack of responsibility.
233  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CNN getting doxxed! on: July 07, 2017, 04:39:03 PM
http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/05/cnn-staff-reeling-after-personal-info-leaked/?utm_campaign=thedcmainpage&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social
234  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Putin's assist for Norks on: July 06, 2017, 10:51:43 PM
second post

Putin’s Assist for North Korea
Russia sends a message to Trump by nixing a U.N. resolution.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from right, inspects the preparation of the missile launch, July 4.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, second from right, inspects the preparation of the missile launch, July 4. Photo: /Associated Press
July 6, 2017 7:01 p.m. ET
25 COMMENTS

President Trump meets with Vladimir Putin on Friday, and the Russian strongman sent his early regards on Thursday by nixing a U.S. resolution at the U.N. Security Council condemning North Korea’s latest missile launch. The resolution didn’t stipulate any action, but our friends the Russians still objected.

The Kremlin excuse is that the draft U.S. statement referred to the rocket as an intercontinental ballistic missile. Never mind that North Korea claims the missile was the equivalent of an ICBM, and the U.S. and other analysis of the trajectory and altitude suggest the same.

“The rationale [for Russia’s rejection] is that based on our (Ministry of Defense’s) assessment we cannot confirm that the missile can be classified as an ICBM,” Russia’s U.N. mission said in an email to other Security Council members. “Therefore we are not in a position to agree to this classification on behalf of the whole council since there is no consensus on this issue.”

The likelier explanation is that Mr. Putin wanted to send a message that he can make trouble if Mr. Trump resists a “reset” in U.S.-Russia ties. Russia has also joined with China in trying to coax the U.S. and South Korea to cease military exercises in Northeast Asia in return for North Korea freezing its nuclear program. But that would merely ratify Pyongyang’s current stockpile and missile progress, assuming it even honored such a freeze, which it would not.

Russia and China are authoritarian powers seeking to dominate their regions, but the problem with tolerating such “spheres of influence” is that regional powers often collaborate to stir trouble beyond those spheres. As they are now abetting North Korea.

Appeared in the July 7, 2017, print edition.
235  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: With or without US, trade goes on on: July 06, 2017, 10:46:18 PM
Japanese and European Union leaders on Thursday announced an agreement in principle to remove tariffs on 99% of goods as well as other barriers to trade. While it will be phased in over many years and some obstacles remain, the deal overcomes Japan’s reluctance to open its market to food products as well as Europe’s resistance to a free market for Japanese cars. Some have dubbed the deal “cars for cheese,” but its effects will be more far-reaching than bilateral trade.

In particular it contains a message for Donald Trump, who pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal with Japan and 10 other Pacific nations and has halted negotiations with Europe on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Trade will go on around the world whether or not the U.S. decides to participate. Had the U.S. remained in the Pacific pact, American farmers and other exporters could have enjoyed the increased sales to Japan that are now on offer to Europeans.

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is considering punitive tariffs on imported steel and other products under an obscure provision of a 1962 law. This could lead to tit-for-tat sanctions against American exporters, tie up the U.S. in cases at the World Trade Organization and make it more difficult to secure the opening of foreign markets to American goods.

If the U.S. continues on this protectionist path while the rest of the world pursues far-reaching trade deals, the effects are predictable. American exporters will have to pay more for their materials and face higher barriers abroad than their competitors. Consumers will pay higher prices. This will cost American jobs and reduce incomes.

The Trump Administration says it still plans to pursue bilateral trade deals, which is in keeping with the President’s transactional view of diplomacy. But this may prove difficult if the U.S. is simultaneously raising tariffs and defending WTO cases brought by trading partners.

The U.S. will pay a steeper price if trade blocs such as TPP proceed without America and forge links with other regions. While other countries’ firms will benefit from new multilateral rules, U.S. companies will have to navigate what Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati calls a “spaghetti bowl” of rules under bilateral agreements.

For instance, a preferential tariff on a particular product may only be available if the exporter can show that a certain percentage of the content was made in that country. The bureaucratic complications mean that many companies don’t even apply to use the benefits offered under bilateral deals, and it may mean U.S. companies with global customers must move plants out of America to stay competitive.

That’s why multilateral agreements are key to the formation of the complex supply chains trading the components that make up most consumer goods. The Japan-EU deal is still bilateral, but it could become the basis for more deals that exclude the U.S. If Washington cedes trade leadership, it risks being left behind as other countries set the rules and expand trade among themselves.

The irony is that the productivity of American manufacturers leads the world, and employment is rebounding. At a moment when U.S. firms could grow their exports, the Trump Administration is burning bridges. The EU-Japan deal is a warning that others will take up trade leadership and capture the prosperity that Americans should enjoy.
236  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WSJ: Israel-India; Bibi and Modi on: July 06, 2017, 10:44:16 PM
https://www.wsj.com/articles/modi-and-netanyahu-begin-a-beautiful-friendship-1499296575
237  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: July 06, 2017, 10:35:11 PM
But wait!  There's more!

And we have yet to discuss recently what seems to me the probability that Iran is working with the Norks on both missiles and bombs.  The Norks lack cash and recently somehow Iran has come into $150B US.

If we allow the Norks to establish this capability, it seems probable the the Iranians will do so as well.
238  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Mexico on: July 06, 2017, 10:25:46 PM
Gracias DDF.
239  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: July 06, 2017, 05:59:15 PM
Worth noting, if I have it correcting is that the Sork weenie president got in because the sounder voters were divided between two other candidates?

As for whether the Sorks are "all in" having their capital city and its sprawl (something like our DC, NYC, and LA all rolled into one) in range of several thousand Nork artillery bunkered in mountain sides can affect the will to fight.  I doubt most Americans would be up to it under similar circumstances. 

That said, "So what?"

240  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Atlantic: Reborn into Terrorism on: July 06, 2017, 05:56:40 PM
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/01/isis-criminals-converts/426822/


Reborn Into Terrorism

Why are so many ISIS recruits ex-cons and converts?
An ISIS flag in a Lebanese refugee camp Ali Hashisho / Reuters

    Simon Cottee Jan 25, 2016 Global


In 2014, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the organizer of the November 2015 Paris attacks, appeared in a video, driving a pickup truck with a mound of corpses in tow. Speaking to the camera before driving off, he said: “Before we towed jet skis, motorcycles, quad bikes, big trailers filled with gifts for vacation in Morocco. Now, thank God, following God’s path, we’re towing apostates.” This was a derogatory reference to his victims, who, in his mind, were renegades from the Muslim faith and thus legitimate targets for slaughter. But it was also a telling allusion to his own irreligious past, before he found God and joined ISIS and started murdering people.

Indeed, Abaaoud was once a wayward soul with a rap sheet. His sister Yasmina told The New York Times that Abaaoud didn’t show any particular interest in religion prior to his departure for Syria, and “did not even go to the mosque.” But he had gone to prison several times, and it was apparently there, like so many Western jihadists, that he grew radical.

Brahim Abdeslam, who blew himself up in the Paris attacks, seems to have been intimately acquainted with criminality as well: The bar he owned in Molenbeek, Brussels was shut down by police a week before the attacks over concerns about the illegal sale of drugs there. And Brahim’s brother Salah, a suspected Paris assailant who remains at large, was not your typical finger-waving ideological fanatic: He reportedly visited gay bars and was more likely to be seen rolling a joint than a prayer mat.
Related Story

The Pre-Terrorists Among Us

According to a recent Washington Post article, Abaaoud and his crew of assassins represent a “new type of jihadist”—“part terrorist, part gangster,” who uses “skills honed in lawbreaking” for the ends of “violent radicalism.”

“European jails have been breeding grounds of Islamist radicals for years, particularly in Belgium and France,” the Post’s Anthony Faiola and Souad Mekhennet write. “But recently, criminality and extremism have become even more interwoven, with recruits’ illegal behavior continuing even after they are shown ‘the light’ of radical Islam.”

This is an acute observation, although it’s scarcely surprising that Westernized recruits to ISIS are just as deviant and lawless as their patrons in Syria and Iraq—the true originators of punk jihad, where anything goes and nothing, not even the weaponization of children, is off-limits. After all, the spiritual founder of ISIS, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was a violent thug both before and after his embrace of Salafi jihadism.

Like Abaaoud and Zarqawi, Siddhartha Dhar (a.k.a. Abu Rumaysah), the latest British-accented ISIS recruit to gain notoriety for his suspected role in the group’s videos, also broke dramatically with his past: He was a Hindu before gravitating toward radical Islam, although, unlike Abaaoud and Zarqawi, Dhar didn’t have a history of violence, robbery, or drug-dealing, and hadn’t done any jail time. Instead, he rented out bouncy castles to the kafirs he came to loathe.

These biographical traits have cropped up in numerous studies. In his survey of 31 incidents of jihadist terrorism in Europe between September 2001 and October 2006, Edwin Bakker found that at least 58 of the 242 perpetrators of these attacks—or 24 percent, a “strikingly high number,” he says—had a criminal record prior to their arrest for terrorism-related offenses. According to a study by Robin Simcox, of 58 individuals linked to 32 ISIS-related plots in the West between July 2014 and August 2015, 22 percent had a past criminal record or were in contact with law enforcement.

Simcox also found that 29 percent of these individuals were converts to Islam. Converts, he reported, accounted for 67 percent of American Muslims involved in committing or planning an ISIS-related attack—“a significantly disproportionate percentage, considering that they comprise only 20% of Muslims throughout the entire United States.” Converts are similarly overrepresented among convicted British jihadists. According to Scott Kleinman and Scott Flower, converts constitute an estimated 2 to 3 percent of Britain’s 2.8 million Muslims, yet “converts have been involved in 31% of jihadist terrorism convictions in the UK from 2001 to 2010.”

What is it about ISIS, and militant Islamist groups in general, that makes them attractive both to criminals and to converts or born-again Muslims?

In The True Believer, published in 1951, the philosopher Eric Hoffer suggested that mass movements hold a special appeal to “sinners,” providing “a refuge from a guilty conscience.” “Mass movements,” he wrote, “are custom-made to fit the needs of the criminal—not only for the catharsis of his soul but also for the exercise of his inclinations and talents.”
High-risk, high-intensity Islamist activism seems tailor-made for the needs of criminals and ex-cons.

This also applies to jihadist groups like ISIS, which promise would-be recruits not just action and violence, but also redemption.

In his 2005 study of al-Muhajiroun, a banned Islamist movement based in Britain with reputed connections to ISIS, Quintan Wiktorowicz detailed the multiple material and social costs attached to what he calls “high-risk Islamic activism.” He mentioned one al-Muhajiroun document in which members are sternly warned to refrain from behaviors ranging from “listening to music and radio” and “window shopping and spending hours in the market,” to “hanging out with friends” and “joking around and being sarcastic.” The organization’s activism, Wiktorowicz observed, is “fast-paced, demanding, and relentless.” It also bristles “against the mainstream,” generating a “kind of excitement often found in counterculture movements rebelling against the status quo.” Many members, he noted, “seem to enjoy their role as ‘outsiders.’”

But more crucially, Wiktorowicz argued, al-Muhajiroun promotes the idea of spiritual salvation—socializing its members to believe that their sacrifices in the here-and-now will be rewarded in the hereafter.

High-risk, high-intensity Islamist activism, in other words, seems tailor-made for the needs of criminals and ex-cons, providing them with a supportive community of fellow outsiders, a schedule of work, a positive identity, and the promise of cleansing away past sins.

Can the same be said for converts to Islam or born-again Muslims?

A common line of argument among scholars is that converts to Islam are insufficiently knowledgeable about their new faith and thus acutely vulnerable to extremist interpretations of Islam, which they lack the intellectual or theological resources to counter. While this explanation seems intuitively plausible, it assumes that converts to Islam know less about their newfound religion than Muslims who were born and raised into it. Yet the evidence for this claim is shaky, and at odds with studies showing just how engaged and well-versed many converts are in debates over matters of faith. The idea that converts, lacking in religious knowledge, are peculiarly susceptible to demagogic manipulation also carries the implication that those with a deep knowledge of Islam are unlikely to join jihadist groups. This, too, is a contentious point—and it’s unclear whether it could even be empirically established, given how contested Islamic knowledge is. More contentious still, this logic essentializes Islam as inherently pacifist, suggesting that some true or proper understanding of the faith would serve as a repellent against deviant jihadist interpretations. But what Islam is or isn’t is an open (and indeed volatile) question; there is not one “true” Islam, but a plurality of Islams, each competing for epistemological hegemony.
Converts to Islam are perennial outsiders. They are “doubly marginalized.”

A more promising explanation lies in the social situation of converts in the West, and their status as apostates or defectors from the non-Islamic faith or secular world into which they were born and acculturated. In an illuminating article on “court Jews and Christian renegades,” the sociologist Lewis A. Coser wrote, “The renegade is, as it were, forever on trial.” Indeed: “He must continually prove himself worthy of his new status and standing.”

Converts to Islam are perennial outsiders, fully belonging neither to the Muslim communities into which they convert nor to the communities they leave behind. They are “doubly marginalized,” as Kate Zebiri puts it in her study British Muslim Converts. This, more than any cognitive failings on their part, may explain the nature of their vulnerability to jihadist groups, which offer potential recruits not only belonging, but also seemingly irrefutable proof of commitment to the faith: self-sacrifice and ultimately death. It may also make them more lethal as jihadist talent, since their eagerness to prove their new commitment may push them to ever greater extremes.

Yet this hypothesis depends on the assumption that the converts in jihadist groups were in any meaningful sense converts to Islam prior to becoming jihadists, rather than the other way round: that they converted to jihadism before, or at the same time as, they became Muslims, so that their conversion to Islam was, as the political scientist Olivier Roy recently argued, “opportunistic” and thus a consequence of, and not an antecedent to, their conversion to jihadism.

One way of clarifying the sequencing in these situations would be to look closely at the convert’s social milieu and the circumstances in which he or she converted to Islam. According to Roy, the “second-generation Muslims and native converts” who dominate the European jihadist scene were “radicalized within a small group of ‘buddies’ who met in a particular place (neighborhood, prison, sport club)” and who “recreate a ‘family,’ a brotherhood,” often with biological ties. They are, he says, in the first instance attracted not to “moderate Islam,” but to the radicalism of violent Salafism, and correspondingly, “almost never have a history of devotion and religious practice.”
Radicalized European youth, disaffected from their own societies, are not seeking Islam, but “a cause.”

In short, Roy argues, echoing the findings of Marc Sageman and Scott Atran, radicalized European youth, disaffected from their own societies, are not seeking Islam, but “a cause, a label, a grand narrative to which they can add the bloody signature of their personal revolt.”

Hoffer reminds us how deeply personal that revolt can be. “A mass movement,” the philosopher wrote, “particularly in its active, revivalist phase, appeals not to those intent on bolstering and advancing a cherished self, but to those who crave to be rid of an unwanted self.” For today’s repentant criminals and restless converts, whose “innermost craving is for a new life—a rebirth,” the all-immersive and all-redeeming jihadist project seemingly offers the perfect solution.

241  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: July 06, 2017, 12:15:30 PM
In which case we should just STFU?

For those not willing to concede the point, I would add to my list that it is time to have a super candid conversation with the Sork weenie of a president and tell him he needs to take the additional THAADS.  Add in talk about going nuke too!

If the Sorks are not willing to fight for themselves, then WTF are we doing there anyway?  Maybe the capabilities there would be put to better use in asserting right of passage in the SCS?
242  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: July 06, 2017, 11:58:42 AM
Probably it would be best to make the threat privately at first.

Once it goes public, as is most likely to be the case, world wide stock markets, most certainly including our own, would crash precipitously. 

Are the American people up for this?  Does President Trump have the credibility to make the case? 
243  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: July 06, 2017, 11:37:34 AM
The Right of Passage sails option would need to be in conjunction with the other measures.  I should also mention more arm sales to Taiwan.  President Trump did this the other day.  More!

As I presently see it, China benefits from and prefers North Korea as it is and has zero interest in helping us.  Trump tweeted yesterday that Chinese trade with the Norks has increased 40% this year even as it pretended to help.

Ditto Russia. Look at the list of conflicts between us: Syria/Middle East/axis with Iran; Crimea/Ukraine; NATO/East Europe/Lavtia, Lithuania, Estonia; the Arctic.  

For both Russia the Norks tie down a major commitment of US assets.

Without a full force "Trade War/Sanctions or Else" threat to China, a threat of CONSIDERABLE risks, China will not change course.  At the very least the Chinese will counter with a demand for recognition of its illegal claims to the South China Sea.

Also see http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-north-korea-options-20170705-story.html


244  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Venezuela on: July 06, 2017, 11:28:43 AM
Denny:

May I ask you to keep this thread current as well?

http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=727.400

Thank you,
Marc

PS:  How are YOU doing in the midst of all this?
245  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Re: Venezuela Politica on: July 06, 2017, 11:27:24 AM
http://softwaretimes.com/files/venezuela+2017.pdf
246  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hell on Earth: on: July 06, 2017, 11:06:53 AM
This comes recommended to me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIeo1Zk0UWQ&feature=youtu.be
247  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Las Mujeres del equipo EU de hockey on: July 06, 2017, 01:52:37 AM
http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/19742921/espn-body-issue-2017#!athletes_uswomensnationalhockeyteam
248  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Did CNN target wrong meme? on: July 06, 2017, 01:34:39 AM
http://www.dailywire.com/news/18286/breaking-cnn-may-have-targeted-wrong-reddit-meme-ben-shapiro?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=070617-news&utm_campaign=dwtwitter
249  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North and South Korea on: July 05, 2017, 11:52:43 PM
Some Options:

* Full force trade and banking sanctions with China
* nukes for Japan
* lots of right of passage sails in SCS
250  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Austria: free movement under challenge on: July 05, 2017, 11:48:51 PM
http://www.speroforum.com/a/JNUGTRROXW20/81215-Austria-blocks-migrants-with-armored-vehicles?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EJFXXTUNLE46&utm_content=JNUGTRROXW20&utm_source=news&utm_term=Austria+blocks+migrants+with+armored+vehicles#.WV3AmnokSGA
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